I’m like Bob Dylan: I don’t look back. I refuse toconsider anything that happened in 2003, because those days areover. Oh, I realize that there were fragments of noteworthy eventsover the past 12 months (tigers attacking magicians, tigers livingin Harlem apartments, the war, etc.), but as far as I’mconcerned, anything that occurred yesterday might as well havetaken place when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Those who ignorehistory are not doomed to repeat it; those who ignore history aredestined to dominate the future with extreme prejudice (almost asif they are cyborgs sent from the future, programmed to becomegovernor of California and possibly to kill the star of TV’sBeauty and the Beast). Tomorrow never knows, but I have afew suspicions. Here is everything important that will happen in2004. This should save us all some time….
JANUARY:The year begins with a systematic realignment, which ?is always nice.On both the mouse-infested sidewalks of New York City and thesnow-swept parking lots of Los Angeles, everyone is reflecting on thesame refrain: “Long hair is back.” Suddenly, every lead singer inAmerica is trying to look like Chris Cornell circa 1991 — except forChris Cornell, who keeps trying to look like the grunge Clark Gable.Slaughter and Blue Cheer reenter the Billboard chart at No. 56and No. 119, respectively. My Morning Jacket begin to sell 200,000albums a week. Cultural pundits widely credit the follicle comeback tothe Darkness, who respond with the single “Long Hair (Oh Yes, We HaveStarted the Renaissance).” They insist this song is not ironic.
FEBRUARY: The first great video of 2004 is releasedby the Strokes. “Between Love and Hate” portrays the Strokes (and DrewBarrymore) as a rogue New York City street gang trying to make it fromthe Bronx to Coney Island via the subway. Along the way, they battle anall-girl gang called the Lizzies (predictably portrayed by the Donnas)and a group of Louisville Slugger-wielding thugs called the BaseballFuries (inexplicably portrayed by Boards of Canada). Sadly, the plotloses momentum when the band emerge from the subterranean chaos atManhattan’s Union Square subway station and spend the next four hoursin a Virgin Megastore.
MARCH: A new Weezer record debuts at No. 4, primarilybecause Rivers Cuomo is completely in step with the current fashion: Hesports shoulder-length hair, a full beard, and — somewhat strangely –a monocle. The album, Second Cumming, is an angry rock opera, loosely based on the critical reaction to the Mel Gibson film The Passion. “I couldn’t relate to the subtitles,” Cuomo later admits. “It was cooler in Aramaic.”
APRIL: The hip-hop reign of 50 Cent ends with the emergence of Leopard Slaya, a 16-year-old Omaha-based rapper whose debut album, Everyone I Know Is Already Dead,sells 116 million copies on its first day of release. Slaya is adoredby the youth, partially for his hyperkinetic rapping style but mostlyfor his harrowing insights about “life on the street.” He freely admitsto having been struck by rocks launched from a medieval catapult onnine separate occasions (including once in the face).
MAY: Britney Spears continues her film crossover as the star of Southern Fried Chick,the story of a Louisiana teenager named Britney who becomes a teen popstar and then attempts to cross over as a film star in a movie called Southern Fried Chick.Spears insists the film is not autobiographical. Eyebrows are raised bythe soundtrack, which includes the super-sassy Spears track “I Know YouWant to Fuck Me, But You Can’t Fuck Me No Matter How Many Times I ImplyThat I Might Possibly Let You Fuck Me.” Spears says the single”shouldn’t be sexualized” and is actually about “being free” and”feeling like a woman, which is always okay.”
JUNE: “I Know You Want to Fuck Me, But You Can’tFuck Me No Matter How Many Times I Imply That I Might Possibly Let YouFuck Me” finally loses its seven-week stranglehold on TRL,replaced by the new Beyonce Knowles single, “Ka-Boom.” The video for”Ka-Boom” features the actual detonation of a nuclear weapon in Syria.
JULY: In an interview with Kerrang!, Lars Ulrich claims that Metallica never actually cut off their hair when they made Load. The guys in Live grow back all their hair and promise to “get back to writing songs about placentas.” Hair returns to Broadway (with Jack Black starring alongside that naked chick from Swimming Pool).Ryan Adams becomes a spokesman for Aqua Net and joins a summer packagetour with Poison, Vinnie Vincent Invasion, Kingdom Come, and there-formed Warrant 96. He blows them all off the stage (well, not VinnieVincent, but almost).
AUGUST: In the ultimate mash-up masterpiece,infamous hooligan Freelance Hellraiser melds the super-hot Britneysingle with a forgotten Smiths song, dubbing the track “You Know ThatJoke Where You Said You Were Going to Finally Let Me Fuck You But ThenYou Still Didn’t? Well, It Isn’t Funny Anymore.” Metallica respond bysuing Morrissey.
SEPTEMBER: Every blogger in the world agrees tosimultaneously blog about the new Radiohead B-side (“OxyacetyleneOtter”) on the third anniversary of the September 11 attacks to provethat the terrorists have (still) not won. Unfortunately, the agreementaccidentally inspires a flash mob. Blogging ends forever. Theterrorists win.
ROCKTOBER: No one is hurt more by the so-calledbig-hair revival than Billy Corgan, whose post-Zwan solo project isthereby doomed. As a career alternative, Corgan pursues poetry,releasing a 448-page tome titled Soundless: The Future of Sound. This is immediately followed by the 884-page Everything Written Is a Dream Once Forgotten.Neither goes platinum. Corgan elects to reunite the Smashing Pumpkinsas a Mountain tribute band. Meanwhile, Fischerspooner break up, citing”creative similarities.” The terrorists win again.
NOVEMBER: America has election fever! Polls indicatethat Wesley Clark has a slim lead over the incumbent. But everythingchanges the day after Halloween, when George W. Bush suddenly dropsDick Cheney as his running mate and adds Jack White to the ticket.”It’s sad to see young kids today — they’re sitting around listeningto hip-hop or nu metal with a Sony PlayStation and a bong ofmarijuana,” White tells The New York Times Magazine (again),immediately establishing himself as the voice of family values. A surgeof GOP support in Detroit delivers Michigan’s critical 18 electoralvotes to Bush, swinging the election in his favor. White promises topush for the elimination of air-conditioning. “Why not just useelectric fans?” he asks. “They work better than air conditionersbecause it’s authentic wind. Sometimes you have to realize thattechnology is hurting you. Air-conditioning stops things from beingreal.” Meanwhile, Bush explains that the war in the Middle East willlast only nine more years.
DECEMBER: Axl Rose releases Chinese Democracy. It’s awesome. Subsequently, China becomes a democracy. It’s merely okay.